Until the beginning of last month, I was happy in my job. I was told I was doing well, that the boss was happy with the work that I was doing but I needed to push myself a little harder to get a little more done. I started recording absolutely everything I did on a worksheet, and whenever my boss would ask I would tell him where things were; what status a project was at, what resources we were lacking, what we needed.
Last month a new person was hired. I was a little dubious (as was everyone in the office) because we had no idea what responsibilities this person would have, what their purpose was, and how their position was going to affect our little and effective ecosystem.
We were right to be concerned. Within a matter of weeks, the happy ecosystem where we all worked well together became a hub of reporting. Daily stand-up meetings were introduced, in which we had to outline the work we’d done the previous day and the work we were planning to do that day. We were then asked to record what we’d said in a chat channel for all to see (no, I am not kidding).
Timesheets were introduced (sure, in themselves not a bad thing, especially for a business that bills clients by the hour). Then a project management system was introduced, again, by itself not a massive deal, something to more accurately monitor how things are running and the stage that projects are at. Then another team announced that they couldn’t work with this particular project management system, so instead of changing to something else, another system was introduced. So, two project management systems that both have to be updated with the same information, and a timesheet system that has to be completed accurately every day. Okay, these things happen, but now we’re reaching realms of “are you freaking kidding me?“.
Roll forward another week, and yet another system has been introduced, this time for the account managers. Apparently, a perfectly logical tracking system of emails isn’t enough.
Then yesterday things reached a point beyond which I am not sure it should have gone. I have someone reporting to me (indirectly), I now have to have a chat with them every morning, find out what they have on their plate and report/record that as well as what I am doing. Oh, and conversation not work-related is no longer allowed.
So, to summarise:
- Daily stand-up
- Daily recording of what I am doing and what my team is doing in a chat channel
- 15-min recording of everything being done in the day
- Project management system #1
- Project management system #2
- Account management system
And somewhere in that schedule, I am meant to actually get work done!
Surely it’s not just me that things we’ve gone from one extreme to another? We started off recording nothing (big mistake), but now we are recording so much that I spend more time monitoring what I am doing than actually doing it.
I think that it’s time for me to start looking a little more seriously at where I want to be this time next year. This new person has come in, thrown their weight around and made it so that the office is an unpalatable place to be, and of it with a smile on their face and a dagger held behind their back.
Until last week I fully believed I was on my own, then I found out that someone had actually threatened to walk. Obviously, they didn’t. And even more obviously, the big boss stood behind the dictator and allowed them to carry on with the ridiculous micromanaging processes that we are finding very difficult to work with.
Have any of you had a manager like this? Been in a situation where you’ve spent more time recording your work than actually doing it? What happened? What did you decide to do?